Logistics leaders say lack of visibility, automation, and innovative technology is keeping them from optimizing last-mile delivery demands.

More than half of respondents to a recent industry survey say they will add automation to meet growing last-mile delivery volumes, with many pointing to outdated technology as a roadblock to delivering on last-mile promises.

Technology vendor Bringg surveyed 200 logistics professionals at companies with 200 to 50,000 employees for its State of Last Mile Logistics report, released this week. The survey polled workers in North America and Western Europe and found that the growth of e-commerce, customer expectations, and rising last-mile delivery volumes have created a capacity problem that logistics providers are struggling to fill.

More than 60% of respondents said they have seen increased demand for last-mile delivery, but noted that a lack of visibility, automation, and innovative technology is “holding them back” from meeting those demands, according to the survey. More than 40% said their biggest challenge to scaling last-mile operations is outdated business processes and manual operations, followed by legacy technology (36%).

“This past year has forced retailers and service providers to assess their supply chain agility and resilience,” Guy Bloch, Bringg CEO, said in a statement. “While they want to take advantage of growing opportunities in the world of ecommerce, they are challenged by legacy systems, limited visibility and high operational costs.”Key findings indicate a greater emphasis on tech tools for the last-mile:

  • 53% of respondents said their shippers use or have requested real-time visibility tools for end customers, but just 18% of providers have it—and more than half said they have no plans to purchase those tools.
  • 54% of logistics providers said they are focused on adding automation to improve customer service; 41% said they have already done so.
  • 20% of respondents said they’ve abandoned automated scheduling and self-scheduling because it was too expensive, but 61% said this was the top wish-list item from shippers.
  • 64% said they are planning to offer new premium services and service plans to increase business through last-mile operations this year, while 43% said intelligent and easy integrations that enable multiple delivery models is the technology that will most help them win business.

The full report is available for download on the Bringg website.